Since 2014 stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD) has contributed substantially to declines of reef-building corals in Florida. Monthly surveys were conducted throughout the northern Florida reef tract to monitor the spread and impacts of SCTLD on a larger spatial scale. SCTLD disease prevalence was lower in Palm Beach County than in Broward or Martin County, but there were no significant changes in prevalence over time. To assess colony level impacts of the disease, this study optimized a 3D photogrammetry technique for fate-tracking infected Montastraea cavernosa coral colonies with a low-cost, rapid protocol that measured tissue area over three time points. Total colony area and healthy tissue area decreased significantly over time, while disease area did not significantly vary. Traditional coral surveys combined with the 3D photogrammetry method provide greater insights into the spatial/temporal dynamics and impacts of this disease on individual corals and reef populations than surveys alone.
|Advisor:||Voss, Joshua D.|
|Commitee:||Hanisak, M. Dennis, Brooks, W. Randy|
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||MAI 81/6(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Coral health, Fate tracking, Florida reef tract, Photogrammetry, Stony coral tissue loss disease|
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